Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Reynolds, Richard (1674-1743)

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455214Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 48 — Reynolds, Richard (1674-1743)1896John Henry Overton

REYNOLDS, RICHARD (1674–1743), bishop of Lincoln, baptised at Leverington, near Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, on 17 July 1674, was son of Richard Reynolds (1631–1682), rector of Leverington (parish register). His mother, Hester, was a daughter of George Conyars, by Dorothy Bushel, formerly maid of honour to Queen Henrietta Maria. A grand-uncle, Richard Reynolds, was slain at Carlisle, fighting on the royalist side, in 1644. There was thus a family tradition of loyalty to the Stuarts. After private education at Moulton and Peterborough, Reynolds became pensioner of Sidney-Sussex College on 31 Dec. 1689, and was elected foundation scholar in 1690. Following a somewhat unusual academic course, he left Sidney-Sussex College to be admitted, on 12 Nov. 1694, a fellow commoner of Trinity Hall, Cambridge, whence he graduated LL.B. in 1695. He proceeded LL.D. from Sidney-Sussex College in 1701 (Cole MSS.) Taking holy orders, and marrying Sarah, daughter of Dr. Richard Cumberland, bishop of Peterborough, Reynolds was instituted rector of St. Peter's, Northampton, and chancellor of the diocese of Peterborough. He was installed in a prebend at Peterborough on 25 Aug. 1704, and was promoted to the deanery at the close of 1718, in succession to White Kennett. On 3 Dec. 1721 he was consecrated bishop of Bangor at Lambeth chapel. In 1723 he was translated to Lincoln, and held that bishopric for twenty years. On 7 Sept. 1727 he was elected a member of 'the Gentleman's Society at Spalding' [see Johnson, Maurice]. He died in Charles Street, Westminster, on 15 Jan. 1743-4, and was buried, as he desired, in Buckden church, Huntingdonshire; there was no inscription on his tomb. He was liberal in his lifetime, and left little property. His wife, who died on 7 April 1740, is also buried at Buckden together with a daughter, called 'the Hon. Anna Sophia Reynolds,' who died on 20 Aug. 1737. Of the bishop's six sons, Charles (1702-1766) was chancellor of Lincoln from 1728 till his death. The eldest son, George, held, among other preferments, which he owed, it is said, not to his father, but to Sir Robert Walpole, that of archdeacon of Lincoln from 1725 till his death in 1769; he settled on an estate at Little Paxton, Huntingdonshire, which is still held by the family. Reynolds's literary remains consist of three sermons (1722, 1727, and 1735) and a strongly protestant and Hanoverian 'Charge at the Primary Visitation, begun at the Cathedral Church, Bangor, May 30, 1722.'

[Willis's Survey of Cathedrals; Nichols's Literary Anecd. of the Eighteenth Century; Allen's Hist, of the County of Lincoln; Reynolds's letters and private papers; extracts from the Leverington parish register most kindly furnished by the Rev. C. B. Drake.]

J. H. O.